Main Tips for Students on How to Write a Good Essay

by | Sep 2, 2017 | Education Feature

The curricula of many educational institutions are built in such a way that each student needs to perform individual work in the form of essays on different subjects. Contrary to popular belief, this does not require a special talent. But special knowledge on how to write a paper will not be superfluous. Nevertheless, the question who will write my essay is still relevant for many students.

Types of Essays

  • A reflection paper is an essay where a student identifies his personal opinion on some matter. It can be some problem, event or personal experience;
  • Comparing and contrasting essay means revealing similar and different signs of two phenomena, events, works and things;
  • A cause and effect paper requires analyzing some phenomena and researching what event was initial and what was subsequent, that is, to determine the cause and consequences;
  • A personal narrative essay is a type of work that is used during exams. It gives a student an opportunity to tell about himself and prove that he is the best candidate to study at college or university.
  • A literary analysis is a paper that should be built around some literature works and answers the questions about tools used by an author, the character of heroes and sometimes a personal reflection to a book or poem.
  • A definition essay requires to use logical thinking and constructions in order to develop a definition of an object or phenomena which are undeveloped to date or is understood differently in science or literature;
  • A research paper is a type of activity that implies making a deep investigation on controversial or undeveloped issues in order to come to new conclusions or scientific recommendations.

Formatting Styles   

  • APA is used to write papers on social sciences and is required to follow in the most American colleges or institutions.
  • MLA style is convenient to write papers on humanitarian sciences and is widely used throughout the world.
  • Harvard is required to use in the universities of the Great Britain.
  • Chicago is a kind of universal formatting style and can be used within almost all sciences. It has rather strict requirements to follow.

General Essay Structure   

espite the fact that there are a lot of essays types, some rules of writing an essay are similar for all the types of papers.

 An Introduction   

Any essay should start with an introductory paragraph which may have different purposes depending on the type of work. If a student is writing a research paper, she should explain the relevance of an issue researched. If the task is to write a compare and contrast paper objects for comparison and contrasting should be mentioned. If it a personal narrative essay, an introduction to this work should necessarily have a hook. In other words, it is a sentence where an author is trying to intrigue a reader and force him to keep reading. All these types of work have one common feature. An entry of any essay should be finished with a clear thesis statement which means an affirmation student agrees or disagrees with. These statements should be maximally coherent, and a student should explain his perspective in a few words.

 How to Develop a Thesis Statement   

Developing the main topic affirmation, students should come from a theme of a paper. Sometimes it is really difficult to develop a thesis just looking through the topic. If there is a situation when a student is not able to come with a clear opinion from the beginning, it makes sense to research a topic from two opposite perspectives. For example, a student should find as much material as possible which supports or refute some opinion. This will help to state a personal view of a topic. If even this did not help, it is reasonable to choose a position student has more material on since it will help to develop more arguments and support them successfully.

 Main Part   

As a rule, it is required to write an essay the main part of which consists of three paragraphs.  Each paragraph should start with a topic sentence and contain one main idea to support the thesis. In the most cases it is enough to develop three arguments to do it, but sometimes it can be asked to add one more paragraph with an opposite point of view. In this case, a student needs to state this perspective, explain it, underline its drawbacks or points he disagrees with and explain why.


It is the last part of an essay, and it should briefly repeat the thesis, sum up the main arguments and underline main output or result. The most important requirement here is that this part should not contain new affirmations that were not discussed in the paper, and should just summarize what were said.

 Used Literature   

If an essay requires using additional materials, they should be obligatory mentioned on the last page of a paper. All used materials should not be outdated. A student should have direct access to them either in print or in electronic form. All sources should be listed in alphabetical order and contain all information about the name of the author, the title of his work, year of publication, the name of a publishing house or institution, or a full link to a website where this source was borrowed.

Choosing a Topic for an Essay

Sometimes students are offered to choose one theme from the list or even to propose their own one. It is necessary to be very careful with this task since a choice of useful topic can lead to low grade. The best advice is to choose a topic student is familiar with and which is interesting personally to him. In this case, there is the high probability that there will be no difficulties with a research and the argumentation.

Proposing own topic is rather a risky decision, so in order to be confident in the results, it is better to avoid it. Writing on a personal topic is reasonable only if a student is absolutely sure that his topic is successful, he will be able to provide strong arguments, and the professor will appreciate it.

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